CHANGES TO the British standard governing class D powder extinguishers have seen the colour code changes from blue to signal violet, with a ‘clearer differentiation’ the reason for the change.

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) and BAFE both reported that amendments to BS 5306-10: 2019 Fire extinguishing installations and equipment on premises. Colour coding to indicate the extinguishing medium contained in portable fire extinguishers. Code of practice – which came into effect on 31 October 2019 – were published in October 2020, with the ‘major change’ being the colour code for class D powder extinguishers for metal fires.

This has changed from blue to signal violet, and ‘reflects the characteristics’ of such powders, ‘which are often very different to other powders’. The FIA noted that the ‘clearer differentiation was felt to be necessary for the safety of the operator’, and as a result all newly manufactured class D extinguishers ‘will exhibit the new colour’, with colours used for all other media ‘unchanged’.

BAFE noted that the standard now ‘supersedes’ BS 7863: 2009 Recommendations for colour coding to indicate the extinguishing media contained in portable fire extinguishers, which has now been withdrawn.